home webcam

Wyze home cameras temporarily show other people’s security feeds

A mishap has resulted in security feeds and camera logs from home cameras being temporarily visible online. Users of Wyze, makers of smart products and home cameras, fell victim to this bizarre incident sometime around September 8.

One of the first posts about this appeared on Reddit, where a user highlighted that they were “seeing someone else’s webcam feed”. They’d logged onto the website to check their cameras and were met with someone else’s dog in someone else’s house. It didn’t take long before other people started reporting the same thing.

Here’s a bedroom, and (disturbingly) another Reddit user claiming to have seen people naked. While there’s no way to prove the latter claim, being able to view bedrooms and other spots around the house does at least make it a possibility.

As far as home cameras go, this is absolutely up there at the top of the “things you don’t want to happen” list. 

These were visible on the service’s web view located at view(dot)wyze(dot)com. According to a Wyze spokesperson, this situation was live for “about 30 minutes” and that roughly ten users had their cameras visible online.

While there is no detailed additional information with regard to the specifics, Mashable notes that one Reddit user claims the cause was due to webpages being cached while on the viewer site then potentially shared with others. Wyze then confirmed to Mashable that the feed mashup did indeed originate from a “web caching issue”.

If you’re curious, the official Wyze rundown reads as follows. It does not go into more detail than what’s already been revealed above:

This was a web caching issue and is now resolved. For about 30 minutes this afternoon, a small number of users who used a web browser to log in to their camera on view(dot)wyze(dot)com may have seen cameras of other users who also may have logged in through view(dot)wyze(dot)com during that time frame. The issue DID NOT affect the Wyze app or users that did not log in to view(dot)wyze(dot)com during that time period.

Once we identified the issue we shut down view(dot)wyze(dot)com for about an hour to investigate and fix the issue.

This experience does not reflect our commitment to users or the investments we’ve made over the last few years to enhance security. We are continuing to investigate this issue and will make efforts to ensure it doesn’t happen again. We’re also working to identify affected users.

We will let you know if there are any further updates.

If nothing else, it’s good news that no more feeds should be accidentally loaded up while checking your own Wyze viewing area. Having said that, this is a shockingly poor thing to have happened. We may simply never know for sure who was viewed, or what they may have been doing at the time.

If you have smart cameras in and around your home, it might be a good idea to check your settings. I’ve known people who’ve bought smart cameras and had no idea there was any sort of web or cloud based functionality. Not everything is local!

If you’re in your property when the cameras are running, what happened to those Wyze users is probably not going to happen to you. Even so, you may wish to revisit your setup. Consider turning off video and audio, or disabling any web-based feed. You can probably still record locally if you need to, or at least come to a privacy-focused setting which meets your needs. On the off chance that your equipment settings don’t fit with your expectations, you may need to be in the market for a new smart security system.

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Christopher Boyd

Former Director of Research at FaceTime Security Labs. He has a very particular set of skills. Skills that make him a nightmare for threats like you.